Fournier Real Estate Library of Information

Before You Look at Your First House

Experienced home buyers know that one of the first-steps in beginning a successful search for a new house is taking a hard, objective look at finances. Determining how much money you can dedicate to the purchase of your new house affects almost every aspect of buying a new home – including how we write the offer, which mortgage programs you will qualify for, shopping for the best mortgage loan and which homes are truly in your price range.

Closing Costs

There are certain standard costs associated with closing the sale of a house. These fees are split between the buyer and the seller, as spelled out in the sales contract.

 

As we negotiate the sales contract for you, we will not only work to get the sales price you want, we will also work to limit the number of closing costs for which you will be responsible.

 

We will walk you through the closing costs, answering any questions you may have explaining which costs are decreed by law to be yours and which are negotiable.

Contingencies In Real Estate Contracts

In real estate contracts the contingency is a common element. Contingencies are clauses in a contract that give either the buyer or seller a way to get out of the contract if certain conditions or timelines aren’t met. A commonly used example is that of a buyer making an offer on a new home before selling his existing home. The buyer needs to sell his present home before being able to get financing on the new one. So he makes his offer contingent upon the sale of his existing home. There will always be a time period associated with such a contingency. If the buyer is able to get his present home sold within that time period, the deal can go forward. But if he fails to sell within the specified time period, the seller has the option of getting out of the deal. In most cases, sellers won’t accept this kind of contingency, because they will most likely feel that they can find another buyer capable of closing the deal without needing to sell another home first. But new home builders are often willing to accept an offer contingent upon the sale of an existing home.

Curb Appeal Checklist

• Inspect the outside ground. Remove any building materials, scrap wood, discarded household items, etc. from the property. Store garbage cans in the garage.


• Check the home from the roof line down.

◦ Is the roof free and clear from obstructions and moss?
◦ Are the gutters clear and neatly hung?
◦ Are the windows clean and free from obstructions (such as overgrown bushes or trees)?
◦ Are bushes, trees and shrubs neatly pruned?

Closing the Sale

Escrow

To finalize the sale of the home a neutral, third party (the escrow holder, a.k.a. escrow agent) is engaged to assure the transaction will close properly and on time. The escrow holder insures that all terms and conditions of the seller’s and buyer’s agreement are met prior to the sale being finalized, including receiving funds and documents, completing required forms, and obtaining the release documents for any loans or liens that have been paid off with the transaction, assuring you clear title to your property before the purchase price is fully paid.

Scoring your Credit-How’s your Fico?

In today’s increasingly automated society, it should come as no surprise that when you apply for a mortgage, your ability to pay can be reduced to a single number. All the years you’ve been paying your mortgage, car payments, and credit card bills can be analyzed, sliced, diced, spindled and mutilated into a single indicator of whether you’re likely to meet your future obligations.

 

All three of the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) use a slightly different system to arrive at a score. The best known is called the FICO score, based on a model developed by Fair Isaac and Company (hence the name) and used by Experian. Equifax’s model is called BEACON, while TransUnion uses EMPIRICA. While each of the models considers a range of data available in your credit report, the primary factors are..

First-Time Homebuyers

Your decision to buy a home is both a sound financial decision and a commendable achievement. As your real estate agents…

 

• We will lead you through every single step of the exciting home buying process.
• We will help you define your “wish list” of features you want in your home, your neighborhood and your ideal school district.
• We will walk you through the mind-boggling financial details associated with buying a home, including the various mortgages and home buying programs available to you.
• We will monitor all new listings and alert you to new houses as soon as they are put on the market.
• We will eliminate the stress involved with buying a home by putting my years of real estate experience to work for you.

Getting the Best Price for Your Home

Getting the Best Price for Your Home

 

Effective marketing is the key to selling your home quickly and getting the highest price. Aggressive, effective marketing of our Client’s homes by every available medium is how we have become top Realtors in the Los Angeles/South Bay area. It’s our job to assure that you get as many qualified offers as possible, allowing you to extract the highest price the market will bear.

Holding Title

Before you reach the closing day, you will want to make a decision as to how you will “hold title” to the property. This decision has legal, tax and estate planning ramifications. Therefore, it may be prudent to consult an attorney or certified public accountant (CPA).

 

The following information is supplied for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal definitions.

Living Trusts

Created while you are alive, a revocable living trust lets you control the distribution of your estate. Ownership of your property and assets is transferred into the trust. You can serve as trustee or you can appoint another to serve as trustee. If you serve as trustee, you must appoint a successor to serve as trustee upon your death.

 

Properly drafted and executed, a revocable living trust can avoid probate and delays as the trust owns the assets not the deceased. Consult with your attorney and/or CPA before deciding a revocable living trust is the right choice for you.

Loan-Related Closing Costs

Loan Origination Fee

This covers the administrative expenses in setting-up and processing the loan. The loan origination fee may be a percentage of the mortgage amount.

 

Points (optional)

An option for the home buyer is to pay points to lower the interest rate at which the loan will be repaid. Each point equals 1 percent of the mortgage amount. For example: on a $150,000 loan, 1 point would equal $1,500.

Mold In The Home

Mold in the Home. The first thing to understand about mold is that there is a little mold everywhere indoors and outdoors. It’s in the air and can be found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic materials.

 

It’s very common to find molds in homes and buildings. After all, molds grow naturally indoors. And mold spores enter the home through doorways, windows, and heating and air conditioning systems. Spores also enter the home on animals, clothing, shoes, bags and people.

Real Estate Glossary

  

ABSORPTION RATE Back to top
The ratio of the number of properties in an area that have been sold against the number available. Used to show the volatility of a market.


ABSTRACTION METHOD Back to top
This method of estimating the value of property uses similar properties available in the same market to extract the value of a parcel of land.


ACCELERATION CLAUSE Back to top
A provision in a mortgage that gives the lender the right to demand immediate payment of the outstanding loan balance under certain circumstances. Usually when the borrower defaults on the loan.

Setting the Sales Price

Getting the Best Price for Your Home

Before we set the sales price of your house, we’ll run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that will show the listing price of similar houses in the area as well as the prices at which the houses actually sold. Additionally, the analysis will give us information about houses currently on the market and about houses that were on the market but never sold.

Next, we’ll ask you about your goals in selling the house. Everyone who sells a house has different goals that need to be factored in when calculating the selling price.

Staging Your Home Checklist


• Remove all clutter from the house.

  • • Check the bathrooms.

  • • Check the walls.

  • • Check the floors.

  • • Check windows and window coverings.

  • • Pet check.

  • • How’s the aroma?

  • • Set the mood prior to showings.

  • • Are countertops free and clear?

  • • Have you removed unnecessary furniture throughout the house?

  • • Remove the art gallery and coupon collection from the refrigerator.

REACH OUT